Sunday, July 13, 2014

A Run in the Country

Yesterday A and I went for a "run in the country" 

that's what my Nan and Pop used to call their weekly drive in the Ford Anglia to "keep the battery ticking over".
Soon we'll be keeping a jar of toffees in the glove box like they used to!

Our first stop was Northam, 96km East of Perth.

(I've written a post about Northam before - you can read it here if you want to...)

My favourite building in Northam (and there are heaps to choose from - whatever design-style you fancy!) is the Iwan Iwanoff designed Public Library and Council building. Constructed between 1971-1974, I bet it had local tongues wagging! It is so unlike anything else in (what appears to be) an archetypal Australian country town. Seriously, the mind boggles!

Here is a photo I took yesterday (I've posted pics before, but they weren't mine) Next time I'm in Northam I'm going to check out the interior.
   
Another building I've always loved is this ex-butcher shop on the main street. Last time we were in Northam it was still operational, it's currently vacant and for sale ($450 000+ from memory) 
Roediger Bros was a favourite among post WW2 migrants who settled in the area because it sold European-style meat.  
I love its door, signage, tiles, everything about it really.

We also checked out every op-shop in town. I bought a tooled leather bag for three bucks and this Saga snack plate,
designed by Turi Gramstad Oliver for Figgjo Flint, for two. It's missing its cup, but hey?! I think I am going to use it as a soap dish...

Next stop was the town of Kellerberrin. Significant for me because I lived there for a few years when I was a little (very little, ha-ha!) girl. I had my ears pierced in Kellerberrin, went to the local Catholic Primary School there (St Joseph's, Sister Finbar, Grade Two) and was a Kellerberrin Brownie! (a Tintookie. Got to find a photo - I looked like a small and not very attractive boy - due to a bad haircut referred to back then as a shaggy dog! Woof! In 2014 we'd call it a mullet! Nice one Mum!)

Like Northam, Kellerberrin has some beautiful old buildings. Look at the deep recessed doorway in "Succulent Foods" (cakes made from scratch! Best carrot cake ever - worth the drive!)
  
And what about the beautiful copper framed windows and lead lights on the exterior of the old drapery?!
I still remember the glamorous bouffant-haired, long-lashed mannequins on display in the windows.
(probably from the 50's, but still in use in the 70's and I daresay, beyond...)

The Post Office (like many country post offices) is grand and rather imposing.


There is an antique/vintage shop in Kellerberrin called Old With Style. I spotted this Martin Boyd demi-tasse coffee set among the treaures for sale, but unfortunately it was $750 so it didn't make the trip home with us :(

Sadly the house we lived in is long-gone, but I'll end with a photo of this classic Mid-century fibro
I wish we could buy something affordable just like this close to Perth! Sigh! Check the patio furniture! Original cushions (a little worse for wear) and all!

(you'll be able to buy this sort of lovely stuff at Concrete Swan when it's up and running...)

Thanks for ploughing your way through another long post. As always I appreciate it x


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Vintage Tea Towels

I still love vintage/retro tea towels in case you're wondering...

Once upon-a-time I used to consider myself the Queen of the Vintage T (bit up myself in this regard - I'm sure there were loads of folk out there with a much more enviable collection than mine!) I was so la-di-da about my tea towels it was funny. Or not - depending on the way you look at things.

Tea towel tragic, that was me.

Anyway even though the days of me buying almost any old vintage t.t. I lay my eyes on in an oppy are long gone 

I'm much more discerning these days - even to the point of trying to flog a pile I'd fallen out of love with at a garage sale we held recently. There were no takers (which surprised me) so back to the oppy from whence they came, they went (I felt a bit mean/sad, but it had to be done!)

I'm still a big fan - and why wouldn't I be? They're just so gorgeous! - especially the Australian souviner tea towels of the 60's and 70's. There is something about a kitschy kangaroo (or is it a koala? sometimes it's hard to tell!), an Aboriginal wearing a lioncloth(?!), or a brightly coloured bunch of wildflowers that melts my heart. That feeling of crisp unused, (often) beautifully ironed linen sucks me in too. As do all those holidays they're mementos of...

So after all this time, why another post about tea towels?

Well because yesterday, squashed into our mailbox I found this



 A present from lovely Lea, too special not to share...

pure linen tea towel, designed in Australia by Neil

It's funny the way things, um, 'go'(?)...in my thank-you email to Lea I asked if she had any interesting ideas for displaying t.towels (not involving pegs - not a fan!) - I haven't heard back from Lea yet, but this morning I received a note from Zara which included a link to this 

amazing quilt. 

Made by Madeleine Sargant of MadebyMosey, to raise funds for victims of drought in East Africa way back in 2011.

If this isn't inspirational (on many levels) I don't know what is! And now that I can sew...why not?!

Thanks for reading - it's very nice of you x

(and Kate (@decobroad), if by a slim chance you're reading this, thank-you for taking the time to look me up to say goodbye. I really appreciate it x)




Sunday, July 6, 2014

Blog Hop, some thoughts on instagram, and more...



Hello.

I have really neglected my poor old blog this year.

Thirteen posts in six months (and one of them, the last one, doesn't really count)

I'm back today for a couple of reasons:

firstly because Lazy Daisy Jones has invited me to participate in a Blog Hop 

and when the woman who taught me how to sew!!!
(something which has given me so much pleasure) 
asks me to 'jump', I say "How high?!" 

and secondly, because I miss you guys.

This year I was sucked-in by the speed and ego-stroking of instagram (all those likes!), but lately I've started to question its sincerity (can't think of a better word to describe what I mean at the moment...)

It's all so easy over on insta - just a quick skim and you're done. And no guilt when you don't have time/aren't in the mood to leave a comment (something I really grapple with as far as blogging's concerned. Do you?) 

While it's definitely a quick and easy way of staying in touch with old bloggy friends who don't blog anymore, (or very often) it lacks the warmth, friendliness, and (as Mel writes here) "the words, story and layers" blogging does. These are the things that inspired me to write Lucy Violet Vintage three and half years ago, the things I'm missing, and the things I'm coming back for.

note: I've 'met' some nice new people via instagram and reconnected with some old friends. I've seen lots (and lots!) of beautiful images, some amazing Brutalist architecture, and a heap of mid-century interiors that take my breath away!

Instagram's not a bad thing, it's just not my thing. Anymore.
  
Right, deep and meaningfuls over, let the Blog Hop begin!

Preface
Crikey I've got me some esteemed company here! Daisy's other blog hop invitees include an artist and a textile costume maker! Like Daisy, these women are creative SUPER stars! I am more the creative wannabe - inspired and amazed by the beautiful things other people make waaay more than the wonky things I make myself. I try hard, but more often than not my creative...um...experiments end up in the bin! I'm an interloper here, face pressed up against the glass, desperately wanting to be one of the cool kids. Keep reading, you'll see...

What am I working on? 
Now that I can (kind-of) sew I am working on perfecting the famous and fabulous Coco Dress. I have made two, worn them to work (OMG! I actually wore something I made in public?!) received loads of compliments (v. important to a beginner sewer - even if said compliments are from three year old's - they're quite the fashionistas these days you know...ahem!) and today I spent yonks in Spotlight (haberdashery shop here in Australia) hunting for fabric to make two more.


Coco au go-go!
(apologies for the crappy pics)

I have also been 'churning out' mini pinis: retro-inspired pinafore's for very little girls (well, one very special little girl to be precise)



I had enough fabric left-over from Coco #2 to make a matching mini pini for little Lovey. Poor kid, not even born yet and crazy 'Aunty' Kylie is making matching frocks!

(notice the trees on my frock are upside down! Ooops!)

The mini pini on my twenty year old Janome at the moment is a bit different to the others I've made. They are all made from vintage fabric, but I have re-fashioned (now that sounds fancy!) this one from a vintage Thai silk blouse - you know the kind with beautiful embroidery on the collar and shoulders? The tricky part for me was working out how to keep the buttons - the blouse buttoned up at the front, but I wanted my pini to button up at the back (I have always been a sucker for frocks and blouses with buttons down the back - my wedding dress had at least fifty of the bl**dy things!) I'll keep you posted...


vintage mini pini inspiration, a pressie from lovely Daisy.

As far as being creative at our place goes, now that our reno's are (kind-of) done, I am busy icing/jooshing/turning our house into our home. 

This beautiful, well worn (they call it patina darling!) Vatne Mobler, Norwegian leather lounge suite - a bargain I discovered at a local vintage shop, is our most recent 'find'. It has added a lovely warmth to our "brown room" (that's what we call it. Creative? Who? Me?!) It might not be wood, but it is good! (get it? Norwegian Wood? The Beatles? 1965?) Its arrival has meant that we can ditch our ugly, mouse-coloured micro suede sofa - a purchase I regretted the day it was delivered (10+ years ago!)


I bought my beautiful vintage Rya rug from my friend Sue (she has others for sale if you're interested...) Sue is in the process of opening her very own shop called Concete Swan (best name ever IMO!) specialising in restored retro garden furniture. More on that another time...

I am also about to paint the window frame in our kitchen black. Abigail (as in Ahern no less!) told me to ages ago, and that girl knows her ish so I thought I'd better! I'm also going to 'wallpaper' the wall around it with recipes from The General Foods Kitchens Cookbook published in 1959. I don't like our kitchen - it was renovated on the cheap and I think it shows. Like all my creative experiments, this one might go wrong. I could end up with a bin full of Swedish Meat Balls, Chiffon Pie and Salad Mould etc, but I'll never know unless I give it a go. Right?

Update: only a day later and already I've decided that my wallpaper idea would not be a good one.

Bored yet?
Don't worry, the answers to the next questions will be short and sweet.

How does my work differ from others in this genre?
My work? Genre? Next question please.

Why do I create what I do? 
Because I haven't (quite yet, cough-cough!) mastered the skills necessary to create haute couture...let's just say I'm still working on my pret-a-porter range ;)

How does my creative process work?    
Who wrote these questions? Someone creative I bet!
I don't have a process.
An idea pops into my head and after some procrastination I go for it. Or not. I fumble and bumble and swear and UNPICK! I get Anth to bang nails in the walls to hang pictures and five minutes later I've changed my mind! Our bedroom has been painted six different colours in four years! I'm a minimalist, a maximalist, like mid-century AND rustic. I'm fond of bright colours and murky ones. Sometimes my outfit choices are just so wrong it's not funny - bag lady-ish, but that's not the look I was going for! I love French flicks, but today I watched The New Original Wonder Woman (1975) and loved it too. I like to think you can't pin me down, but the truth is I'm all over the shop style-wise!

Have I answered the question yet? Marks for effort? Please.

Why not blog hop now? 
(This one I can answer!)

To end I would like to invite:

my lovely friend Lea who writes Life, Love and Making Stuff


sweet Zara, of Zaranne Handmade



and dear Nadine (a.k.a Woolfy). Find her at Tiny Woolf



(I would've asked you too Pipstar, but I know you're busy nesting at the moment)

In your own time girls, and no pressure.

If you're reading, thank-you. I really appreciate it x

I think am going to try to get back here more often. 

I think it's fabulous that bloggers like Curtise (I saw Lloyd Cole a couple of weeks ago Curtise!) and Dana (to name just a couple - there are many more of you) still blog regularly, and that Donna has started writing her legendary Freaky Friday series again. I love a bit of a freak show on a Friday Donna :)

Oh and Mel, I'm all for a "bloggy revival"!

x  





























Saturday, June 7, 2014

Announcing the Winner of My Diabolo Toilet Roll Holder Give-Away

(a catchy title for a post if ever I saw one. Ahem!)


Sorry for taking my sweet time to spill the beans on this, but... the winner of my little dunny-inspired give-away is Sally who writes a lovely blog called Virtu. Congratulations Sally, I hope Diabolo adds a bit of style and pizzazz to the smallest room at your place. Please contact me with your details and I'll pop it in the post.


Thanks to Sally and everyone else who took (take) the time to read my blog and leave a comment. You're ALL lovely, and I really appreciate it x


note: All images from Terence Conran's "The House Book". My op-shopped, vintage copy was published in 1976. It's a classic.

Monday, May 26, 2014

What's Sewin' On?

Would you believe that following the expert tutelage of lovely Daisy (I wrote about her skirt-along and showed you the goods here) I have sewn not one, not two, but five frocks? That's five, boys and girls. F I V E!!!

Wanna see 'em?

Okay (it's time to 'fess up)


I know that they're teeny-tiny, but they still count, right?!

(plus they've got button-holes - that's gotta up the ante!)


Five little frocks, all made with love (and varying degrees of wonkiness. Ahem!) for little baby Loveheart (she's not here yet, but she will be...soon!)

Curious about her Mummy? It's this lovely lady!

I love sewing. I really do (and I never, ever, thought I'd say that!)

Thanks for reading and don't forget to leave a comment here if you'd like to win a fantaisie porte-rouleau de papier toilette (so much nicer in French!) I'm drawing a winner on Thursday x 



Monday, May 19, 2014

Dunny's Done (and a give-away)


Actually it's been done and dusted, and well and truly christened for some time now, but every time (and there's been more than a few of those!) I attempted to blog about it, I found myself ludicrously over-thinking the decorum (or clearly, otherwise) of showing you the place where we do our "number ones and twos".
Obviously this is totally ridiculous (even the Queen does wees and poos!), so here, without further adieu, is our loo! 


Before


You have to remember (I wrote about it here) our house is more than a hundred years old, and this toilet (the building, not the actual suite) was originally outside. An old, backyard dunny. In the late 70's a previous owner had the clever (ha!) idea of building an extension (ha-ha!) which would not only create a lovely new living area (ha-bloody-ha!), but would also encompass the old dunny, cunningly bringing it inside.

Here's the results of his genius and what it (and that living area!) looked like when we bought the house. 



Nice???!!!

After


Okay, so I went a bit cray-cray as far as decorating the smallest room in the house goes (ahem!). I have successfully ticked nearly every current decorating cliche in the book (the only things missing are a reclaimed wood wall and a Fiddle Leaf Fig!)

We even have our very own "toilet manifesto"


Purchased here, but you could easily make your own.

(and yet to have the impact/desired outcome I was naively stupidly hoping for!)


The 'wallpaper' is from The Reader's Digest, Young People's Annual, published in 1964. 

note: a credit card is your best friend here as far as achieving a smooth, bubble free finish goes.

It's safe to say the folk(s) who write **ck your noguchi coffee table would have a field day as far as our dunny goes, but what do you think??? 

To thank-you for reading my blog (good posts and bad, frequent posts and few) I am giving away one of these super-stylish Diabolo for Vandiss  toilet roll holders. Somehow I don't think our toilet could handle another, ummmm, 'statement piece' (I'm keeping one for 'the dream home' though...)


All you have to do is follow and leave a comment. I'll select a winner randomly and pop it in the post in a weeks time (it's packaged in the tiniest little box so I am happy to post overseas if you're the winner)

Thanks for reading, I'll end with a little peek at our laundry, also finished (much more sedately) I will try and write a post about it soon (ish!) 


x









   




























Monday, April 28, 2014

"Sew-Along" and Frock-Alone Show and Tell

Recently Lazy* Daisy Jones

blogger, seamstress, hooker (I'm talking crochet thank-you very much!), collector, restorer of old stuff, and all round good egg

* I have no idea where the lazy comes in!

wrote a post (or two!) extolling the virtues of the McCalls 3341 skirt pattern. Daisy described McCalls 3341 as the perfect project for the beginner sewer.

Even though I didn't actually believe her at the time, it turned out

a, that she was right, and 

b, there were loads of stitchers with 'L' plates on out there in blogland, who were itching to give 3341 a go. 

So lovely Daize bowed to the pressure of her adoring fans and decided to host a Sew-Along.  And she did it with aplomb. From cutting to sewing (and everything in between!) Daisy taught us how to sew a totally wearable A-line skirt.

See, here I am wearing mine

(it used to be a vintage bark cloth curtain)
 
It even has a...zip!
 
If you have ever wanted to run something up, Daisy's sew-along is the perfect place to start. I highly recommend it. I have tried other sewing tutorials and the only thing I ended up with at the end of them was a pounding headache. After sewing along with Daisy, I not only made a skirt (with my own bare hands!) but I also learnt a heap of new skills.
 
Did I mention I inserted a zip?!
 
Here is the link to Part One which tells you everything you need to know to begin.
 
As far as sewing goes, I always thought I was a bit of a klutz. I blamed it on being left-handed (let's face it, in a nutshell I'm what you'd call...unco) Now I know I can do it. All I needed was someone (Daisy) to start at the beginning and explain things simply to get me started and give me confidence. 
 
I'll always be grateful to you for this Daize, you're a great teacher. Thank-you x
 
Since I 'conquered' 3341, I am so excited about sewing - I'm imagining my wardrobe bursting with home-made clothes! I have even made a dress! (and it's ALL down to Daisy's sew-along)
 
Here it is
 
Simplicity 3833, a reissue of an original 1960's pattern. Vintage 1970's fabric.
 
 Notice it has:
 
sleeves
 
button holes
 
and
 

the mother of all zips!
 
note: this morning when I ponced about in front of the camera it struck me (again!) how much I hate having my photo taken. How I survived Frocktober  last year I'll never know! Here's a dodgy looking 'full frontal'
 

Just remember (and I keep telling myself this) it's not about me, it's all about the frock ;)
 
Thanks for reading x